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Equal Rights Amendment
Text of the Equal Rights Amendment
“Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.”
The following states have ratified the ERA:
Current Ratification Status
Historical Timeline of the ERA
The process for ratifying amendments to the Constitution is set forth in Article V.
Under current Supreme Court precedent, ratification issues are political questions.
The Department of Justice is currently waiting for instruction from Congress on the future of the ERA. Meanwhile, the Department of Justice has been representing the Archivist in various ERA-related litigation.
What Can Congress Do to Clarify the Status of
the ERA and assist the Department of Justice?
Congress can either
(1) pass a standalone bill extending the deadline for ERA ratification in the Senate (51 current cosponsors) and House (214 current cosponsors);
(2) because the Department of Justice requires the support of an annual Congressional appropriation to defend the Archivist in litigation, Congress can include 86 STAT 1523 as one of the bases for its annual appropriation and, then, include a modification to the (non-substantive) language of the preamble to 86 STAT 1523, changing the word "seven" in the last line of the preamble to e.g., "seventy."
For example, the language of the Department of Justice Appropriation Act of 2022 might include the following:
SALARIES AND EXPENSES, UNITED STATES ATTORNEYS For necessary expenses of the Offices of the United States Attorneys, including inter-governmental and cooperative agreements and defense of the Archivist of the United States arising from 86 STAT 1523, $2,419,868,000: Provided, That of the total amount appropriated, not to exceed $7,200 shall be available for official reception and representation expenses: Provided further, That not to exceed $25,000,000 shall remain available until expended: Provided further, That each United States Attorney shall establish or participate in a task force on human trafficking. Provided further, That the word "seven" in the preamble of 86 STAT 1523 shall be understood to be replaced with the word "seventy."
Congress and Next Steps
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